A night at the gym

Okay, more like 20 minutes at the gym...

T & I went to the BYU gym tonight to work out my knee.  My physical therapist said I need to be working it out a minimum of 2x per week (I think physical therapy counts as one of those times each week) and preferably 3-4 times per week.  Plus I'm supposed to do extra exercises at home on a daily basis.  Well I researched and found that we have full (FREE!) access to the BYU gym since Tom is a full-time student and I'm the spouse of a full-time student.  I always get excited about FREE even though I realize we are pretty much paying for it.  You know, $10,000 this year for grad school...a free gym pass better be included!  Anyway, T was so nice to come with me to the gym and he helped me figure out how all the machines worked and he even stood and waited by some of them while I used them to make sure I didn't get hurt or hurt the baby.  Isn't he sweet?  Oh, and don't worry, the machines I was using won't hurt the baby.  First we did the weight stuff.  T mostly did upper body weights and I just did things to strengthen my knee.  Then I went and did the elliptical for 10 minutes while T did some other workout...not quite sure what.  I was super surprised to discover how extremely out of breath I was after only 3 minutes of the elliptical.  I guess my pregnancy is taking way more of a toll on my body than I thought!  I stuck with it for 10 minutes even though I did turn the resistance down a ton.  It's such a great workout for me since it helps with my range of motion, doesn't  put a lot of stress on my knee, and actually gets my heart beating.  I feel so good after my (short) workout!  It has been a long time since I've been able to get a semi-decent workout due to the knee.  I'm hoping I can be diligent enough to go to the gym 4x per week.  I plan to do a few leg weights for strength and then use the stationary bike (if I can find an available one) to increase my range of motion and stay in shape.  And maybe the elliptical every now and then even though my quads kill from it.

When we got home I did my least favorite knee exercise recommended by my physical therapist.  I'm supposed to lay on my back, roll up a towel and put it under the ankle of my left foot (bad knee) then put ice on top of my knee to weigh it down some.  It helps to straighten my knee and improve the range of motion.  I'm at 0 degrees when I straighten my right knee but I can only get to 13 degrees on the left side.  I'm trying to get that back to 0!  The measurement of my bent left knee is pretty much the same as the right so I'm not too worried about that.  This is what my exercise looks like:

I'm not really as fat as I look in this picture.  It's just an awkward angle, I promise.  This exercise is so uncomfortable and I have to stay in this position for 10 minutes with relaxing my leg as much as possible which totally pushes my knee down and just kills!  But it really is helping my knee feel better.  I'm walking with so much less of a limp and my knee isn't bothering me quite as much even though it still pops every now and then when I twist funny on accident.  I guess no amount of exercise is going to fully cure it.  *Sigh*

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